In a recent interview with Merf Owen from Owen Clarke Design, he was asked what lessons were learnt from the last Vendee Globe. The statistic he draws on in his answer is startling:
“There was a comprehensive de-brief with all the sailors. I have had a few sails on Ecover since, and we have had de-briefs with the sailmaker since, and spar makers. The first person we always get talking to about a new boat is always the spar maker.
I have spent two days already with SP structural engineering on where we are going from there. And just gathering statistical data. I know that we lost 19 rigs in 24 months from IMOCA Open 60s. We concluded that the highest attrition rate was in deck spreader rigs by a margin of more than 2:1, and with any rig with rotating spreaders and that the most reliable is a fixed, classic spreader.”